Alamgir: Voice on the wind
By Anis Shakur
Shaam say pehlay Aana, dhoop saari dhal gaye ho,
phool saaray khil gaye hoan, mausum saaray lay Aana,
Phir wohe din Aaye hain, jaanay kya lay Aaye hain,
Jeewan mera, sara tera, jeena to ik bahana hai,
Ik teray Aa janay say, mil gaye hain zamanay say
Jeewan mera, sara tera, dooor phir kya jana hai,
Shaam say pehlay Aana
I am modest when I measure myself, but proud when I compare myself.
The above statement holds true to renowned Pakistani singer, Alamgir. Alamgir
was born in 1954 in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Search for green pastures took Alamgir to the sun-blessed Karachi, in 1970, at sixteen
years of age.
Fans remember Alamgir with his guitar, singing and entertaining the public at Hill Park, Karachi. Additionally, Alamgir played
guitar in Café D’Khan, Tariq Road, Karachi.
As a result of his focused concentration, the teenaged dreamer, as Alamgir was at the time, became a success. One of those
days, Sohail Rana spotted Alamgir and offered him to participate in the children’s program. Thus, Alamgir began his
musical journey from Pakistani television. Alamgir claimed his own fame before turning nineteen.
Next, Alamgir sang ‘Albela rahi, mein hoon albela rahi,’ in 1973, from Karachi television station. In fact, Alamgir
stepped in at a time when Ahmed Rushdi and Mehdi Hasan were still lighting the musical sky.
Soon, the song ‘Pyar hai zindigi ka gehna maano mera kehna,’ sung to perfection by Alamgir, enthralled the audience.
The song below proves for the umpteenth time that some people like Alamgir, are just destined to rise to the top:
‘Shaam say pehlay Aana, dhoop saari dhal gaye ho, phool saaray khil gaye hoan, mausum saaray lay Aana.’
To narrate the stirring, true story of Alamgir is to relate one memorable hit after another. In the song below the sound of
the sea is a rhythmic, almost melodic accompaniment to the lovely voice:
‘Chahay Aandhi Aaye ray, chahay megha chaye ray, mujhay us paar lay jana maajhi ray.’
The word ‘Alamgir’ literally means ‘ruler of the world.’ Indeed, singer Alamgir takes pride in truly
living up to his name. Since, through his voice, Alamgir rules the hearts and minds of music buffs round the globe.
Reverting to Alamgir’s songs, he had the strength, gumption and independence to come up with his own lyrics and music
compositions. One example below:
‘Mein nay tumhari gagar say kabhi paani piya tha piyasa tha mein yaad karo.
Those were the days of stiff competition as Alamgir forged his way up. What is more, the lyrics of Alamgir’s songs still
nourish our soul. Here is a song and a composition that conveys the loyalty of the Pakistani nation:
‘Naye dino ki masafatoan ko ujalna hai, wafa say Aasuda sa’atoan ko ujalna hai, umeed-e-subhay jamal rakhna, khayal
Alamgir rendered songs for the 1977 mega hit film ‘Aa’ena.’ The lucid poetry combined with Robin Ghosh’s
scores produced these two magnificent musical masterpieces:
‘Mujhay dil say na bhulana, chahay rokay ye zamana.’ Duet, Alamgir- Mehnaz, the film ‘Aa’ena.’
‘Wada karo saajna chu kay mujhay tum abhi.’ Duet, Alamgir- Mehnaz, the film ‘Aa’ena.’
Most importantly, Alamgir knows that when the goal is worth achieving, nothing is beyond reach. He came distinctly powerful
in the 1976 song ‘Deikha na tha, kabhi hum nay ye sama, aisa nasha teray pyar mein piya socha na tha, kho gaye sapno
Also, it fills one’s heart with hope, aspiration and longing as one listens to a soulful Alamgir, ‘Sohni dharti
Allah rakhay qadam qadam Aabaad, qadam qadam Aabaad tujhay.’
No matter where we come from or what color we are, the only color one should recognize is the color of the music we make.’
The above phrase sounds good for Alamgir’s songs like, ‘Allah ka in’aam ye Azad watan.’
Likewise, the transporting power of love and gentility are successfully captured in this song, ‘Ye shaam aur tera naam,
dono kitnay miltay jultay hain, tera naam naheen loon ga, bus tujh ko shaam kahoon ga.’
To his adorers, Alamgir personifies the ideal singer. Regarding his songs, the message in the hand written lyrics still echoes
today, ‘Deikh tera kya rang kar diya hai, khushbu ka jhonka teray sung kar diya hai.’
Like many of us, Alamgir also believes that we are the architects of our own fortunes, and that our happiness depends, in
the end, on ourselves. This song proves that Alamgir has fulfilled himself artistically and personally, ‘Hum chalay
to hamaray sung sung nazaray chalay, kaisa ye sama hai, bay khudi hai, dil jawan hai, kaun janay kab ye mausum dhalay.Pictured
on Nadeem, the 1975 film 'Jageer,’
All through these times, Alamgir has given performances that will stand as a musical highpoint for an extended period of time.
One example is this song, ‘Dil kay sub raastay, teray he wastay.’
The intoxication of glory, Oh! how uplifted Alamgir would be! Dwelling on his music, what could be more versatile then these
‘Tu hai kahan shaam hai.’
‘Gagar ko churoo.’
‘Dam mast qalandar.’
Similarly, sure, poignant strains of Alamgir’s melody emerges in ‘Aye meray dil tu rona naheen.’
Throughout his music career, Alamgir received overwhelming support from his admirers. That encouragement strengthened his
faith in his own resourcefulness. Through songs like the three below, Alamgir provided countless hours of pleasure to innumerable
‘Kabhi tum idhar say guzar kay to deikho.’
‘Duniya meri ab wo naheen.’
‘Jis ka naam naheen liya tha.’
Pursuing television or stage, Alamgir is equally bold and bodacious. Remarkable people like Alamgir inspired some of our favorite
songs like the three below:
‘Neelay neelay amber pay.’
‘Haseen wadiyoan say ye.’
‘Aaj phir gulshan-e-tauheed.’
Moreover, Alamgir’s electrifying presentations gave the stage respectability and true importance. His admirers take
pleasure in the fact that Alamgir came up with superfluous performances in more than forty countries. Further, he could render
songs in almost twenty languages. Songs like the two below are emblazoned in ones mind:
‘Mein sapnay teray sung liye.’
‘Koi to rehta hai sansoan mein.’
Its equivalents are songs like the two below:
‘Keh day na.’
The lusty tone he evokes from his musical instruments, the sheer brilliance of the musical notes he produces, the way he makes
the composition, he plays uniquely his own. Most definitely, Alamgir has won over the hearts of his myriad of admirers on
the two songs below:
‘Khwaboan mein akela.’
‘Ye bheegi bheegi ratain.’
Furthermore, Alamgir holds a singular place in our hearts with songs like these two:
‘Abhi to tu hai jawan.’
Add to all this is a brilliant wit, and verve that are inexhaustible, and you will perfectly understand how, with such resources,
a man like Alamgir can attain appropriateness of his presentation, without even spoiling the quality and merits of his singing
voice. Two songs below:
‘Hum aik hain.’
‘Dil nay kahi jo baat.’
Better yet, Alamgir renewed the passion in our lives with songs like these two:
‘Ye din agar khwab ho jaayain.’
Alamgir became one of the most enchanting singers of the 1970s and 1980s. Further, his antics gives a vintage quality to the
show. Below are two examples:
‘Wo mera kya hai.’
‘Ek, do teen, chaar, paanch.’
Alamgir’s popularity soared in response to public’s perception. His youth aside, he is noteworthy. It was a sublime
moment when Alamgir sang these two songs:
Likewise, ‘Hum loag yehe dua maangein,’ immensely appealed to audiences.
Indeed, the secret of Alamgir’s success is that he loses himself in his music. The two songs below are a salutary trend
Dama dam mast qalandar.’
It is seldom that a singer is so loudly and widely lauded for his talents in so many voices, and on so many instruments. The
two songs below in Alamgir’s voice are as impressionable as ever:
‘Janay mujhay phir kya ho gaya.’
‘Aik titli pharakti jaaye.’
The song ‘Jab say deikha hai tumhain,’ leaves a deep and indelible impression on the public.
Observing at what ordinary folks have done makes us look afresh at every artist and imagine possibilities. When it comes to
Alamgir’s songs, one brushes tears of laughter and deeper emotion from his eyes as one listens to songs like the two
‘Aanay say uskay Aaye bahaar.’
‘Mein tujhay tu mujhay chahay.’
Alamgir scored big with songs like ‘Aao kaheen dooor chalain.’
In a more fulsome tribute, one of Alamgir’s devoted fans said, ‘I am hooked and I have been ever since I listened
to Alamgir’s songs..’ Below are two songs:
‘Ho janay jana.’
‘Lo jhug gaya Aasmaan.’
Obviously, Alamgir is a man who radiates pride in the choices he has made. He attained name and fame with songs like the two
‘Aik larki ko deikha to aisa laga.’
‘Billo day ghar.’
That said, Alamgir has been one of the creative minds of music for quite sometime. He increasingly found opportunities to
show his dramatic abilities notably in the two songs below:
‘Zindigi kay safar.’
‘Mein nay to kar liya hai milnay ka faisla.’
Alamgir has always been ambitious and motivated. In the song ‘Baharo phool barsao,’ the words are torn straight
from Alamgir’s soul.
Alamgir moves forward with hope and belief in himself. The three songs below catapulted him into instant fame, and he remained
one of Pakistan’s most popular singers for years to come:
‘Badal bhi aur paani bhi.’
‘Tum meri Aankein ho mein khwab jaisa hoon.’
‘Paas Aa kar koi.’
The praise bestowed on Alamgir is awesome. Some of his songs also sprang from personal experiences. He recorded songs after
hilarious songs like the three below:
‘Koi bhi rang ho tera.’
‘Is ko naam junoon ka deido.’
‘Ja ja jani.’
Alamgir earned the Nigar Award for best singer in the 1977 film Aa’ena.’
Alamgir earned the Pride of Performance Award in Pakistan.
Alamgir earned music Awards in North Korea, Sri Lanka and South Africa.
Alamgir called it a day in 1993. But not before witnessing his music win a generation of new music lovers. Later, Alamgir
moved to Arlington, Virginia.
Alamgir is fifty-two years of age now and, though past the early bloom, is yet in all the luster of life.
To finish listening to Alamgir’s songs is to return from the resplendent
land of dreams, which we had flown into. Essentially, every admirer desires the moment to last forever. Have fun, Alamgir!